One of the most pressing concerns during COVID-19 pandemic is procrastination. Many people are forced to work at home, where they are faced with various distractions. There are also challenges in telecommuting that can discourage productivity, such as poor internet connection and lack of social interactions.
Shane Perry, the advisor for short-term business loans at Max Funding, uses time management tools to ensure efficiency. He says, “To a certain extent, all of us have been struggling to delay or avoid tasks to the point that it’s become a habit. And nothing is more powerful than a habit. It’s important to identify and fix your weaknesses as early as possible so that you building healthy habits.”
So, whether you’re working from home or a have been a remote worker even before the pandemic, here are evidence-based tips to stop stalling and increase output.
1. Create A Clear Work Schedule
In a home environment, things are not usually timed. Unless required to be online at specific times, we tend to take too many breaks. Creating a schedule that is fitted to your current tasks can reduce procrastination.
Start by identifying the biggest tasks and then break them down into smaller tasks. This way, your brain will know that these tasks are all manageable and you have to handle them one at a time.
Set a timeframe for each task. Be careful of short breaks, like glancing at social media, because these can cause massive delays.
2. Lessen Distractions
Blaring TV, humming washer, playing children, raucous pets—there’s a lot of potential distractions a home. Start your transition into this new arrangement by setting your workspace at home.
Find a quiet spot with little to zero traffic. As much as possible, it should have proper ventilation. Remove the clutter and redecorate the space in a way that won’t side-track you.
Some people are excellent at staying focused. But if your task is boring or stressful, you can easily be tempted to visit YouTube for funny cat videos. Reduce your access to digital temptations as much as possible.
3. Plan Your Breaks
Just because you’re working at home doesn’t mean you don’t need breaks anymore. Breaks are important in staying focused, motivated, and energised.
Control how and when you should use the internet for leisure. Plan your meals and avoid overeating in between working hours to avoid feeling drowsy or acidic.
Planning your interruptions is also crucial. Even the best work-from-home plans can be thrown off by simple interruptions. A phone call from your best friend could tempt you to spend the next 2-3 hours talking about how you regret now buying the Connector Handbag.
Once you sense that the interruption could potentially consume a lot of time, try to say, “I’d love to hear more but I’m actually at work right now. Can you call me after 5?”
4. Find Meaning in Your Work
According to research, procrastination can also be caused by a lack of positive emotions associated with the task. In your home, you are surrounded by many things that hold significant value to you. This can make your task seem a little less meaningful, making it difficult for you to focus more.
Finding meaning in your work can help increase motivation to get things done. Remind yourself of your long-term goals, such as “If I get this promotion, I can afford my own house.” or “If I hit this month’s target, I can buy the Maven Tote!”
You may also try something like, “I was unemployed for 6 months before I got this job. I should do my best to keep it.”
Procrastination can be triggered by various factors. And it’s crucial to identify factors before they become form a habit. Once you find the harmful pattern, be resolute about abolishing it. The process can be challenging, but the reward is truly satisfying and can be carried through the years.